Brett Laursen

Professor and Graduate Studies Coordinator

Department of Psychology

Florida Atlantic University


Docent Professor of Social Developmental Psychology

Department of Psychology

University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Graduate Faculty in Psychology

Mykolas Romeris University

Vilnius, Lithuania


Ph.D. (Child Psychology) 1989

University of Minnesota

M.A. (Child Psychology) 1987

University of Minnesota

B.A. (Psychology) 1984

Nebraska Wesleyan University


Honorary Ph.D., 2008

Örebro University, Sweden


Editor in Chief

International Journal of Behavioral Development

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Fellow, American Psychological Association (Division 7, Developmental)

Fellow and Charter Member, Association for Psychological Science 

Distinguished Alumnus, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota


Contact Information

Department of Psychology

Florida Atlantic University

3200 College Avenue

Fort Lauderdale FL 33314

Telephone: 954.236.1121

Fax: 954.236.1242




Research Interests

Brett Laursen's research concerns parent-child and peer relationships during childhood and adolescence. A related focus is on quantitative developmental methodology. 


Professor Laursen is currently involved in several longitudinal projects, which focus, in one way or another, on the transmission of influence. The first project is an interdisciplinary look at the social networks of young children, pairing real time observations of preschool classroom behavior with peer nomination data to specify the longitudinal processes whereby social groups become larger and more influential with development.  This project is being conducted in collaboration with a team from the University of Miami, led by Dr. Daniel Messinger.  The second project concerns math achievement in a group of Latino students as they transition from grade school into middle school, to identify how transactions between parents and adolescents shape the child’s math interest and abilities. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jill Denner of ETR Associates. A third project involves a large group of elementary and middle school children from a school district whose population is representative of students in the state of Florida. Over the course of a semester, students identify changes in friends and changes in behaviors in school, to better understand who is friends with whom and how influence is apportioned within the relationship. A fourth project involves peer relations and academic achievement across the transition into primary school in a large community sample of Finnish children, under the direction of Professor Jari-Erik Nurmi. A fifth project involves data from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study, a longitudinal investigation of monozygotic and dizygotic twins who have been followed from birth to secondary school. Professors Frank Vitaro and Mara Brendgen direct this collaboration. Finally, ongoing studies at various locations examine developmental differences in event frequency measurement, the adjustment correlates of different measurement strategies, and the degree to which different measures yield different estimates of influence.


Read more about Professor Laursen’s research here:


Brett Laursen currently receives support from the US National Science Foundation.  His work has also been supported by the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the US National Institute of Mental Health, and the Jacobs Foundation.





A complete list of publications and citations can be found here:


Copies of most publications can be found here:



Select Recent Empirical Publications (*student coauthor)


*DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Poikkeus, A.-M., Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (in press).  Friend influence and susceptibility to influence:  Changes in mathematical reasoning as a function of relative peer acceptance and interest in mathematics.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly.


*Valdes, O. M., Laursen, B., Guimond, F. A., *Hartl, A. C., & Denner, J. (in press).  Maternal psychological control and its association with mother and child perceptions of adolescent adjustment:  More evidence on the strength of shared perspectives.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 


*DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Bukowski, W. M., Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2016).  Adolescent friend similarity on alcohol abuse as a function of participation in romantic relationships:  Sometimes a new love comes between old friends.  Developmental Psychology, 52, 117-129.


*DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Poikkeus, A.-M., Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J.-E.  (2015).  Stable same-sex friendships with higher achieving partners promote mathematical reasoning in lower achieving primary school children.  British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 33, 519-532.


*Dickson, D. J., Laursen, B., Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2015). Parental supervision and alcohol abuse among adolescent girls.  Pediatrics, 136, 617-624.


*Dirghangi, S., *Kahn, G., Laursen, B., Brendgen, M., Vitaro, F., Dionne, G., & Boivin, M. (2015).  Corumination cultivate anxiety:  A genetically informed study of friend influence during early adolescence.  Developmental Psychology, 51, 564-571.


*Hartl, A. C., Laursen, B., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2015).  A survival analysis of adolescent friendships:  The downside of dissimilarity.  Psychological Science, 26, 1304-1315.  doi/10.1177/0956797615588751


*Hiatt, C., Laursen, B., Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2015).  Best friend influence over adolescent problem behaviors:  Socialized by the satisfied.  Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Advance online publication.  doi/10.1080/15374416.2015.1050723


*Hiatt, C., Laursen, B., *Mooney, K. S., & Rubin, K. H. (2015).  Forms of friendship:  A person-centered assessment of the quality, stability, and outcomes of different types of adolescent friends.  Personality and Individual Differences, 77, 149-155.  doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.12.051


*Richmond, A., Laursen, B., Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2015).  Depressive symptoms anticipate changes in the frequency of alcohol intoxication among low accepted adolescents.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76, 585-593.


*Dirghangi, S., Laursen, B., *Puder, J., Bjorklund, D. F., & *DeLay, D. (2014).  Self-reported rates of interpersonal conflict vary as a function of questionnaire format:  Why age-related trends in disagreement (and other events) may not be what they seem.  Journal of Adolescence, 37, 965-972.


Laursen, B., & *Richmond, A. (2014).  Personality, relationships, and behavior problems:  It’s hard to be disagreeable.  Journal of Personality Disorders, 28, 143-150.  doi:10.1521/pedi.2014.28.1.143


*Marion, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Nurmi, J.-E, & Salmela-Aro K. (2014).  Maternal affection moderates friend influence on schoolwork engagement.  Developmental Psychology, 50, 766-771.  doi:10.1037/a0034295 


*DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Salmela-Aro, K., & Nurmi, J.-E (2013).  Selecting and retaining friends on the basis of cigarette smoking similarity.  Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 464-473.  doi:10.1111/jora.12017


*Hafen, C. A., Laursen, B., Nurmi, J.-E., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2013).  Bullies, victims, and antipathy in adolescence:  The feeling is mutual.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 801-809.  doi:10.1007/s10802-013-9720-5


Laursen, B., & *Hartl, A. C. (2013).  Understanding loneliness during adolescence:  Developmental changes that increase the risk of perceived social isolation.  Journal of Adolescence, 36, 1261-1268.  doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.06.003


*Marion, D., Laursen, B., Zettergren, P., & Bergman, L. R. (2013).  Predicting life satisfaction during middle adulthood from peer relationships during mid-adolescence.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 1299-1307.  doi:10.1007/s10964-013-9969-6


Seiffge-Krenke, I., Laursen, B., *Dickson, D. J., & *Hartl, A. C. (2013).  Declining metabolic control and decreasing parental support among families with adolescents with diabetes:  The risk of restrictiveness.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38, 518-530.


Popular Citations (*student coauthor)


Kiuru, N., *Burk, W. J., Laursen, B., Nurmi, J.-E., & Salmala-Aro, K. (2012).  Is depression contagious? A test of alternative peer socialization mechanisms of depressive symptoms in adolescent peer networks.  Journal of Adolescent Health, 50, 250-255.  doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.06.013


Laursen, B., *Hafen, C. A., Kerr, M., & Stattin, H.  (2012).  Friend influence over adolescent problem behaviors as a function of relative peer acceptance:  To be liked is to be emulated.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 88-94.  doi:10.1037/a0024707


Bukowski, W. M., Laursen, B., & Hoza, B. (2010).  The snowball effect:  Friendship moderates escalations in depressed affect among avoidant and excluded children.  Development and Psychopathology, 22, 749-757.  doi:10.1017/S095457941000043X


Kiuru, N., *Burk, W.J., Laursen, B., Salmela-Aro, K., & Nurmi, J.-E.  (2010).  Pressure to drink but not to smoke:  Disentangling selection and socialization in adolescent peer networks and peer groups.  Journal of Adolescence, 33, 801-812.  doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.07.006  


Laursen, B., Bukowski, W.M., Nurmi, J.-E., *Marion, D., Kiuru, N., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2010).  Opposites detract: Middle school peer group antipathies.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 106, 240-256.  doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2010.03.001  


Laursen, B., *DeLay, D., & *Adams, R.E. (2010).  Trajectories of perceived support in mother-adolescent relationships:  The poor (quality) keep getting poorer.  Developmental Psychology, 46, 1792-1798.  doi:10.1037/a0020679  


*Hafen, C. A., & Laursen, B. (2009).  More problems and less support:  Early adolescent adjustment forecasts changes in perceived support from parents.  Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 193-202.  doi:10.1037/a0015077  


Laursen, B., & Collins, W. A. (2009).  Parent-child relationships during adolescence.  In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed.).  Vol. 2:  Contextual influences on adolescent development (pp. 3-42).  New York:  Wiley.


Popp, D., Laursen, B., *Burk, W. J., Kerr, M., & Stattin, M. (2008). Modeling homophily over time with an actor-partner interdependence model. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1028-1039.  doi:10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.1028  


*Pursell, G. R., Laursen, B., Rubin, K. H., Booth-LaForce, C., & Rose-Krasnor, L.  (2008).  Gender differences in patterns of association between prosocial behavior, personality, and externalizing problems.  Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 472-481.  doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2007.06.003  


*Adams, R.E., & Laursen, B. (2007). The correlates of conflict: Disagreement is not always detrimental. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 445-458.  doi:10.1037/0893-3200.21.3.445  


Laursen, B., Bukowski, W.M., Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2007). Friendship moderates prospective associations between social isolation and adjustment problems in young children. Child Development, 78, 1395-1404.  doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01072.x  


Laursen, B., Furman, W., & *Mooney, K.S. (2006). Predicting interpersonal competence and self-worth from adolescent relationships and relationship networks: Person-centered and variable-centered perspectives. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 52, 572-600.  doi:10.1353/mpq.2006.0030  


Laursen, B., & Hoff, E. (2006).  Person-centered and variable-centered approaches to longitudinal data.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 52, 377-389.  doi:10.1353/mpq.2006.0029  


*Burk, W. J., & Laursen, B. (2005).  Adolescent perceptions of friendship and their associations with individual adjustment.  International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 156-164.  doi:10.1080/01650250444000342 


Collins, W. A., & Laursen, B. (2004).  Changing relationships, changing youth:  Interpersonal contexts of adolescent development.  Journal of Early Adolescence, 24, 55-62.  doi:10.1177/0272431603260882


Hoff, E., Laursen, B., & Tardif, T. (2002).  Socioeconomic status and parenting.  In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (2nd ed.): Vol. 2.  Biology and ecology of parenting (pp. 231-252).  Mahwah, NJ:  Erlbaum. 

Laursen, B., Pulkkinen, L., & *Adams, R. (2002).  The antecedents and correlates of agreeableness in adulthood.  Developmental Psychology, 38, 591-603.  doi:10.1037//0012-1649.38.4.591  


*Adams, R., & Laursen, B. (2001).  The organization and dynamics of adolescent conflict with parents and friends.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63, 97-110.  doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2001.00097.x  


Laursen, B., *Finkelstein, B. D., Betts, N. T. (2001).  A developmental meta-analysis of peer conflict resolution.  Developmental Review, 21, 423-449.  doi:10.1006/drev.2000.0531  


Collins, W. A., & Laursen, B. (2000).  Adolescent relationships:  The art of fugue.  In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships:  A sourcebook (pp. 58-69).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage. 


Laursen, B., & Jensen-Campbell, L. A. (1999).  The nature and functions of social exchange in adolescent romantic relationships.  In W. Furman, B. B. Brown, & C. Feiring (Eds.) The development of romantic relationships in adolescence (pp. 50-74).  New York:  Cambridge University Press. 


Laursen, B., *Coy, K., & Collins, W. A. (1998).  Reconsidering changes in parent-child conflict across adolescence:  A meta-analysis.  Child Development, 69, 817-832.  doi:10.2307/1132206  


Laursen, B., & Bukowski, W. M. (1997).  A developmental guide to the organisation of close relationships.  International Journal of Behavioral Development, 21, 747-770.  doi:10.1080/016502597384659  


Laursen, B., & *Williams, V. (1997).  Perceptions of interdependence and closeness in family and peer relationships among adolescents with and without romantic partners.  In S. Shulman & W. A. Collins (Eds.),  Romantic relationships in adolescence.  New Directions for Child Development (No. 78, pp. 3-20).  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.  doi:10.1002/cd.23219977803  


Laursen, B., Hartup, W. W., & *Koplas, A. L. (1996).  Towards understanding peer conflict.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 42, 76-102. 


Laursen, B. (1995).  Conflict and social interaction in adolescent relationships.  Journal of Research on Adolescence, 5, 55-70.  doi:10.1207/s15327795jra0501_3  


Laursen, B., & Collins, W. A. (1994).  Interpersonal conflict during adolescence.  Psychological Bulletin, 115, 197-209.  doi:10.1037/0033-2909.115.2.197 


Laursen, B. (1993).  The perceived impact of conflict on adolescent relationships.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 39, 535-550. 


Laursen, B., & Hartup, W. W. (1989).  The dynamics of preschool children's conflict.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 35, 281-297.


Hartup, W. W., Laursen, B., Stewart, M. I., & Eastenson, A. (1988).  Conflict and the friendship relations of young children.  Child Development, 59, 1590-1600.  doi:10.2307/1130673 



Books and Monographs


Laursen, B., & Collins, W.A. (Eds.) (2012).  Relationship pathways:  From adolescence to young adulthood.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage 


Laursen, B., Little, T. D., & Card, N. A. (Eds.) (2012).  Handbook of developmental research methods.  New York:  Guilford. 


Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Laursen, B. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups. New York: Guilford.


Bukowski, W. M., Laursen, B., & Rubin, K. H. (Series Eds.) (2009). Social and emotional development: Critical concepts of developmental psychology. New York: Psychology Press.


Laursen, B., & Žukauskienė, R. (Eds.) (2007). Interpersonal development. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate. New York: Psychology Press.


Laursen, B., & Graziano, W. G. (Eds.) (2002). Social exchange in development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (No. 95). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Collins, W. A., & Laursen, B. (Eds.) (1999). The Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology: Vol. 30. Relationships as developmental contexts. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Laursen, B. (Ed.) (1993). Close friendships in adolescence.  New Directions for Child Development (No. 60). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.





Shrija Dirghangi (2016).  On the importance of being fun:  Over-time associations between perceptions of fun and changes in peer preference and popularity. 

Dr. Dirghangi an Assistant Professor of Child Development, California State University, Chico, California.


Cody Hiatt (2016).  Sources of popularity:  Aggressive and prosocial strategists and the adolescents who affiliate with them. 

Dr. Hiatt is a Research Scientist at Innovation, Research and Training, Durham, North Carolina.


Ashley Richmond (2015).  Academic task avoidance and achievement as predictors of peer status during the early primary school years. 

Dr. Richmond is a Research Assistant in the Office of Institutional Research, Miami-Dade College, Miami, Florida.


Dawn DeLay (2013).  Friend influence on achievement during middle childhood.

Dr. DeLay is an Assistant Professor of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. 


Donna R. Marion (2011, co-chaired with Robin Vallacher).  Patterns of friend influence on school engagement and the moderating effects of maternal affection. 

Dr. Marion is a tenure-earning Instructor at the Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 


Christopher A. Hafen (2010). Who dislikes whom? The characteristics of aversion in adolescence. 

Dr. Hafen is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Northern Virginia Community College-Manassas.


Gwen R. Pursell (2009).  Adolescent conflict with parents and friends:  The role of negative affect and resolution strategy in predicting relationship impact. 

Dr. Pursell is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Wesley College, Dover, Delaware.


Karen S. Mooney (2007).  Patterns of early adolescent friendships and their associations with individual adjustment. 

Dr, Mooney is a visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, State University of New York, Geneseo.


Ryan E. Adams (2005).  Parent-child relationships across early adolescence:  Changes and adjustment. 

Dr. Adams is a Research Scientist, Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Ohio. 


William J. Burk (2005).  Concurrent and prospective associations between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent adjustment:  Person-oriented and variable-oriented analyses. 

Dr. Burk is a Docent (Assistant Professor) at the Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. 


Vickie A. Williams (1999).  The influence of parenting practices on ethnic identity and social and academic outcomes. 

Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of Psychology, Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, Georgia. 



Current Post-Doctoral Fellow


Fanny-Alexandra Guimond

B.Sc. 2009, Université du Québec à Montréal

Psy.D. and Ph.D. 2014, Université du Québec à Montréal

Friendship and peer influence



Current Doctoral Students


Daniel J. Dickson

B.A., 2011, Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University

M.A., 2014, Florida Atlantic University

Parent-child and peer-child relationships during adolescence


Amy C. Hartl

B.S., 2011, Ursinus College

M.A., 2014, Florida Atlantic University

Friendship, romantic relationships, and partner influence


Melissa Huey

B.A., 2009, University of Massachusetts Amherst

M.A., 2012, City College of New York

Friendship and parent-child relationships across adolescence


Arushi Sachdeva

B.A., 2013, University of Dehli

M.Sc., 2014, University of Sussex

Peer preference and popularity


Olivia Valdes

B.A., 2013, University of South Florida

Friendship and adolescent problem behaviors



Prospective Students


Teaching and research assistant positions are available for new graduate students for the next academic year. Interested students should contact Professor Laursen for details. Current and former graduate students are available to answer questions about the program.